December 13, 1996
Yesterday's double funeral of Ita and Ephraim Tzur at Beit El was as heart
wrenching as can be imagined. It is almost impossible to express in words the
emotions felt here when hearing such horrible news. All I know is that the
identical sensation experienced too many times in the past, a sensation that I
try not to recall under any circumstances, exploded inside me on Wednesday
night, in full force. And it tends to linger on for quite a long time.
At the cemetery, Ita and Ephraim Tzur were buried next to Ohad Bachrach,
murdered last year in Wadi Kelt, together with Uri Shachor. Beit El too, as in
Hebron, has had to allocate a row of graves to murdered Jews.
Waiting by the graves, I stood several meters from Minister of Defense Yitzhak
Mordechai, Foreign Minister David Levi, and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.
The expressions on their faces, especially those of Levi and Netanyahu,
reflected excruciating pain and anger. Yoel Tzur, husband and father of the
victims, is a personal friend and acquaintance of the two ministers.
It must be said that the arrival of the three most important figures in the
Israeli government, along with Ariel Sharon, Zevulun Hammer, and others,
represents a major shift in policy, as was displayed, or perhaps, better
termed, not displayed, by the previous administration. Official government
representation at funerals of terrorist victims was delegated to mayors, or
minor officials. Families of terror victims were totally ignored by the
Rabin-Peres administrations. Participation of so many of the most important
people running the county is more than symbolic: It is a clear statement by the
Netanyahu government, expressing the words that Netanyahu uttered during his
eulogy: You (the residents of Yesha) are as much a part of us, as are all
the people in Israel. During the previous administration we were isolated and
related to as the lowest level of being; we were enemies of the State.
Netanyahu's government has clearly returned us to the fold - we are no longer
However, during the eulogies, two clearly contradictory statements were
spoken. The first declared that the government must react to this display of
terrorism with a 'Zionist solution.' Behind this phrase are suggestions of
expanding present Jewish communities in Yesha, as well as founding and development
of new communities.
The other remark, also emphasized by almost all the speakers went as follows:
'We will demand that the palestinian authority fulfil its commitment toward
protecting the security of Israelis, as undertaken by the Oslo Accords."
If my understanding of Zionism is accurate, this last statement is the exact
antithesis of Zionism. True Zionism was practised by the pioneers who moved to
Eretz Yisrael primarily at the end of the 1800's and throughout this century .
They realized that living in Israel demanded security - and this security had
to be self-sustained. (The error made by the Jewish Community of Hebron in
1929 was that they so trusted their Arab neighbors, that they refused to accept
weapons to protect themselves, after notification that the Grand Mufti in
Jerusalem, Amin el-Hussaini, [uncle of Faisel el-Hussaini] was inciting and
riots were sure to break out throughout Israel.)
The most anti-Zionist answer possible to any terrorist action is to rely on
our arch-enemies to provide security for Israel. Anyone with eyes in his head
can see, and knows, as clear as day, that the Arabs know that they have one,
and only one responsibility. That is, of course, to annihilate the Jews
living Israel and transform the State of Israel to the State of Palestine.
Why do we have to be so blind and so stupid as to really expect that Arafat
will actively participate in protecting a People who he hates, and who, by
their very presence, contradict his existence. Arafat has yet to condemn the
terrorist attack that left Ita and Ephraim Tzur dead. Kol Yisrael today
reported that Israeli security and intelligence forces warned 'palestinian
sources' that a terrorist attack by the Chazit HaAmamit was impending. Yet, no
preemptive action was taken by the palestinians. No one belonging to the
Chazit HaAmamit was arrested. This is a true palestinian concern for Israeli
Israel, and Israel alone can be responsible for Israeli security. Any other
solution is madness which negates Zionism, the return of Am Yisrael to Eretz
Yisrael. I hope and pray that the Prime Minister and his cabinet will reach
this conclusion before any more tragedy strikes.